Yale 75, Boston College 67: Austin Morgan, Bulldogs Defeat Eagles

Austin Morgan made 9-of-14 shots, including 6-of-9 three-pointers, and scored a team-high 25 points as Yale dealt Boston College an embarrassing 75-67 loss at Conte Forum on Thursday night. Read more at BC Interruption.

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Yale 75, Boston College 67: Austin Morgan, Bulldogs Defeat Eagles

CHESTNUT HILL - There's a reason schools like Boston College schedule softies like Yale early in the season, right?

Not only should the Eagles be able to pick up an easy win, but they should look good doing it. But sometimes, those softies actually show up and play. 

Austin Morgan made 9-of-14 shots, including 6-of-9 three-pointers, and scored a team-high 25 points as Yale dealt Boston College an embarrassing 75-67 loss at Conte Forum on Thursday night.

"I thought Yale obviously played a terrific basketball game," said Boston College head coach Steve Donahue. "The kids played with great confidence and poise. They shared the ball and made shot after shot."

The Bulldogs (1-2) made 26-of-52 shots (50.0%) in the victory and excelled from beyond the arch, sinking 12-of-21 three-pointers (57.1%).

"I thought we did a decent job a times defensively, but obviously they exposed us on certain things," Donahue said. 

Reggie Jackson finished with a game-high 30 points for Boston College (1-1). Corey Raji finished with 12 points while Joe Trapani added 10 points and five rebounds.

"We still have to grow up mentally," said Jackson. "Coach can only do so much. He implements his drills in for pre-game, but if you were here last year, you're seeing the same stuff. We came out slow, and they jumped on us and they whole game we were playing catch-up."

Yale opened the game on an 14-7 run that lasted nearly seven minutes. In that span, the Bulldogs received seven points from Morgan, including two three-pointers.

"Personally, I didn't take care of my assignment," Jackson said. "Coach told me that Austin Morgan is a great shooter. At the beginning of the game, I have to take it upon myself to shut down their best scorer, and tonight I feel like I failed at it."

Boston College worked its way back into the game, using an 11-5 run to tie the game at 19 with 6:33 remaining in the first half.

Reggie Jackson scoring the tying basket, slamming home a breakaway dunk that appeared to shift the momentum back to Boston College.

Yet the Bulldogs remained calm, cool and collected, draining back-to-back three pointers to build the lead to 25-19 with 5:20 left before halftime.

Dallas Elmore (4 points) made two free throws, Jackson made a jumper and had a layup with two second remaining to bring the Eagles within five, 30-25, at the break.

Morgan led all scorers at halftime with 16 points. Jackson scored 14 in the first half, but was the only Eagle to score in double-digits, and Joe Trapani had just one point and four rebounds at the half for Boston College.

The second half was more of the same early on for the Bulldogs, who continued to have success from long range, making 5-of-10 threes in the final half.

The Eagles did their best to keep the game interesting, staying within 10 points for the majority of the half. With 2:40 left, Boston College pulled within five at 67-62 courtesy of two free-throws from Raji. They had an opportunity to make it a single-possesion game with under a minute left, but two misses from Paris and Elmore seemed to seal the deal.

Still, the Eagles weren't ready to give up yet. Jackson drove to the hoop, made the basket and got fouled with under 50 seconds remaining. He hit the free throw, bringing Boston College within four at 69-65.

But that was as close as the Eagles would get to victory, as Yale made its free throws in the final second to escape with the win.

"Definitely," Jackson said when asked if he was encouraged by the Eagles' second-half defensive performance. "Offense isn't always going to go well, so like we said, defense is going to take care of us throughout the season. Basically, we're going to have to be a defensive minded team to get to where we hope to be."

The Eagles made 21-of-52 shots (40.4%) in the loss and struggled mightily from deep, making only 3-of-19 threes (15.8%).

"We work so hard at it in practice," said Jackson. "Coach has done a great job coming in, fine-tuning our shots. Tonight was just a tough night. But [the media] was at the exhibition and praised us for shooting 45% [from three-point range], so we know we're capable of doing it again. Tonight they just didn't fall."

Despite the loss, Jackson felt that the Eagles displayed positives throughout the night.

"I believe everybody saw it in Conte," Jackson said. "It's been the same story since I was a freshman that we show great poise at times and we show great desire and that we're hungry and that we can be an elite team, but we have to do it all 40 minutes."

"We're not a good offensive basketball team right now, but we're getting better," Donahue noted. "That being said, we didn't give up, played hard, tried to do what we want, but we're not there yet and we'll continue to work at it."

Boston College will look to rebound when it hosts in-state foe Holy Cross at Conte Forum on Monday night. Nevertheless, Donahue isn't looking that far ahead.

"I'm not even worried about Holy Cross right now," said Donahue. "I'm worried about tomorrow's practice. I'm worried about getting two and a half hours in and trying to get better at every little thing we need to learn from this film."

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Yale Vs. Boston College: Eagles Trail Bulldogs 30-25 At Halftime

CHESTNUT HILL - Austin Morgan scored a game-high 16 points in the first half as Yale took a surprising 30-25 lead into halftime at Conte Forum.

The Bulldogs opened the game on a 9-4 run in the first four minutes and led 19-15 with 8:38 left in the first half, but the Eagles were able to battle back and tie the game at 19 on Reggie Jackson's breakaway dunk with 6:30 remaining.

Not to be outdone, Yale responded by hitting back-to-back three pointers to take a 25-19 lead, and the Bulldogs would carry their momentum into halftime.

Jackson  led Boston College with 14 points at the break, and was the only player to score in double-digits for the Eagles.

Josh Southern, who missed the Eagles' first game while recovering from minor surgery, made his season debut with 16:55 to go in the half. He scored his only two points of the half on a hook shot under the basket with 7:14 to play.

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Yale Vs. Boston College: Steve Donahue, Eagles Look For Second Win

Boston College head coach Steve Donahue has a history in the Ivy League.

Donahue was the head coach in the Ivy League at Cornell from 2000-2010, leading the Big Red to an overall record of 146-138. However, Donahue excelled in the Ivy League, guiding Cornell to a 78-62 record within the conference.

Now, Donahue will have a chance to build upon his success against the Ivy League when his Boston College Eagles host the Yale Bulldogs at Conte Forum on Thursday night (7 p.m. ET, WEEI).

Boston College leads the all-time series against Yale 8-2, and the first meeting was during the 1949-50 season.

The two teams last met on January 3, 2007, when the Eagles powered past the Bulldogs 72-56 at Conte Forum. Tyrese Rice and Sean Marshall each had 20 points in the win for Boston College.

The Eagles (1-0) opened up their season in style, defeating St. Francis (NY) 79-49 on Friday night at Conte Forum. Senior forward Joe Trapani scored a game-high 20 points for Boston College, which opened the game on an impressive 24-2 run.

Senior forward Corey Raji scored 17 points and grabbed nine rebounds and Reggie Jackson each scored 17 points and had 11 assists.

"I thought the overall effort was terrific," Donahue said after the game. "I thought we brought great energy throughout the 40 minutes. I thought our mental toughness was great. We did a lot of good things that, if we do it every game, I think we'll be very successful."

Yale (0-2) has not had similar success in the early going, losing two close games in a row. The Bulldogs dropped their season opener at Quinnipiac 84-75. The Bulldogs trailed 62-41 with 12:47 remaining in the game, but they fought back and cut the Bobcats' lead to six twice in the final minutes before ultimately falling short.

Greg Mangano scored a game-high 20 points for Yale. In the loss, the Bulldogs made 21-of-50 shots to shoot 42.0% from the field. Yale lost the battle of the boards, as Quinnipiac out-rebounded the Bulldogs 37-27.

In its second game, Yale lost a heartbreaker, 58-55, on the road against Providence. The Bulldogs trailed by one with 30 seconds remaining, but Porter Braswell (13 points) missed a three-pointer that would have given them the lead.

Providence's Marshon Brooks grabbed the rebound and was fouled by Austin Morgan (team-high 16 points), and he made both free throws to take a 58-55 lead.

The Bulldogs did have one last chance to extend the game, but Greg Mangano missed a three-pointer at the buzzer.

Yale was woeful as a team from the perimeter last season, shooting less than 30%, and it cost them dearly. The Bulldogs finished 12-19 and 6-8 in Ivy League play.

The biggest loss for Yale to overcome is that of Alex Zampier, who led the team in scoring and was third in scoring in the Ivy League.

However, 12-year head coach James Jones (142-168) thinks that senior big man Michael Sands can fill the void, via Rivals.com.

"He's a big strong kid who showed a lot of improvement after a good summer last year. We look for his leadership to grow. Hopefully, it started as soon as the season was over. I think he'll be the vocal, aggressive leader we need."-Coach James Jones, in the New Haven Register, on team captain Michael Sands.

Sands started every game last season for Yale and was an All-Ivy League honorable mention as a junior last season.

Entering Thursday's match up, Yale's probable starting lineup (via Rivals.com) is as follows: Greg Mangano (C), Michael Sands (PF), Reggie Willhite (SF), Austin Morgan (SP), Porter Braswell (PG).

For Boston College, the expected starters are the following: Cortney Dunn (C), Joe Trapani (PF), Corey Raji (SF), Reggie Jackson (SG), Biko Paris (PG).

The Eagles will be bolstered by the return of senior center Josh Southern, who missed the start of the season while recovering from minor surgery. Southern is not expected to start, but Donahue said that he will begin to work him in on Thursday.

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